What is an LPN or LVN?
An LPN, or Licensed Practical Nurse, and an LVN or Licensed are actually the same, it is only the name that is different. In most of the United States of America, most nurses with this type of licensure are titled an LPN, however in California and Texas, these nurses have the title of LVN.
Whether you are pursuing a LPN or LVN, you must attend an accredited nursing program, frequently at a community college, and can usually be completed in 12-18 months.
The coursework includes Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, Psychology, Normal Growth and Development, Nursing Fundamentals, Communication, Patient Education, Pharmacology,
Communicable Diseases, Ethics, Leadership, Nursing Specialties (Medical–Surgical, Maternity, Pediatric, Gerontological, Rehabilitation), and much, much more.
When completed with nursing school, you must pass a certifying exam to obtain licensure as a LPN/LVN.
What can an LPN/LVN do?
An LPN/LVN can supervise other LPN/LVN’s and unlicensed staff (such as medical assistants); do a variety of nursing skills, such as obtaining intravenous access (I.V.), dressing changes/wound care, obtain a patient’s vital signs, bath and dress patients, and provide care and assistance with a patient’s ADLs (activities of daily living), discuss a patient’s plan of care with the patient themselves, relays information and practices under the direction of a Registered Nurse and or a physician.
An LPN/LVN is an integral part of the healthcare team, and usually find employment in Health / Outpatient clinics, Medical/physician offices, Acute care / Rehab hospitals, Skilled Nursing /Long term care Facilities, Psychiatric Hospitals, In-Home Care, Dialysis Centers, Public & Private Schools, Correctional facilities, and Insurance companies.
How long does it take to become an LPN/LVN?
In California, it takes 1,530 Total Hours: This includes Classroom and Clinical hours, which is usually about12 to 20 months depending if it is a Fulltime versus a part-time program.
So if you are consider becoming an LPN/LVN…Do not just consider it…DO IT !!! If you have compassion for people, and want to care for patients in a variety of settings, and in a variety of stages in peoples lives, and various health conditions and disease states, then nursing is calling you. It is a demanding, but yet fulfilling career.
Be a Nurse.